Completing my pre-internship was bittersweet, I was excited to move forward on my journey towards becoming a teacher but sad to be leaving Mrs. Hoeft grade two classroom. This experience proved to me that teaching is the profession for me. Going to my field placement was the highlight of my week, I immediately fell in love with the kids, teachers and welcoming community and couldn’t wait to go back each week. It all went by so fast and I learnt so much from the lecture, seminars, teachers and the students.
From the beginning, I was excited about ECS 100 because I knew I’d get to go into the classroom. I was not aware of how much I was going to learn in such a short amount of time. I learned about diversity, inclusion, meeting individual needs, accommodating and decolonizing the classroom. I had to learn to adapt my teaching style to benefit the diverse needs of students. The different focus questions each week help me gain a deeper understanding of teaching.
I focused my learning on noticing different ways teachers and schools are honouring diversity. Diversity was everywhere in my grade two field placement classroom. My field placement teacher honoured diversity by allowing students to share their cultures through things like pictures of their families and cultures on a family tree in the classroom. Students got to display aspects of their cultures through photos of powwows, Christmas, pinching perogies and of different countries to illustrate culture and take pride in who they are. Additionally, by allowing them to share stories about their cultures and let them make connections through their native languages and cultures as they learned English, Cree, French and sign language. This allowed them to make personal connections to the things they were learning in school. It allowed kids to embrace their differences. Diversity is in every part of a classroom, not just in the student but the resources. In Mrs. Hoeft grade two classroom there are multi-language books with messages about equality, acceptance and inclusion along with posters posted throughout the school and different school clubs to embrace and include all students.
Diversity was shown in student abilities like reading levels, mathematics and athletic abilities.
My favourite memory is when a Filipino student sat next to a Ukrainian student and discussed the different foods they had in their lunch- this was a perfect example of diverse cultures coming together in the classroom, society and community. Examples of some of the ways the school honoured inclusion and diversity is through posters posted around the school for groups like the Gay-Straight Alliance Group to support and welcome the LGBTQ community into the school and the Welcoming Circle for indigenous students. The lecture on inclusion and diversity in the classroom helped me understand how important it is to embrace diversity in the classroom. By promoting diversity in the classroom, young students learn to accept that all individuals are unique and valuable.
In the ECS 100 lecture, I was able to learn about invitation and hospitality. The lecture taught me how to decolonize the classroom and incorporate different forms of diversity I might encounter in my teaching career. Having diverse learning allows students to relate to coursework and feel welcome in the classroom. It is very important that I have an understanding of the importance of diversity in the classroom as a teacher.
I am so grateful to have had such an amazing school, teacher, and class to have started off my journey to becoming a teacher. She taught me how to be patient when students are behaviorally challenged or answer tricky questions like if the tooth fairy exists and showed us new ways to teach like reading to stuffed animals or the emotion magnets and that making mistakes is how children learn. The topics discussed in ECS 100 lectures were important. As a future educator, I will be shaping society and it is important that I understand the importance of diversity and inclusion.
My goal as a future teacher is to always continue my learning. I’m going to constantly look for new ways to improve my teaching techniques. Another goal I have is to be more adventurous, try new activities and teaching styles. After being in my field placement school and learning about diversity I am interested in completing an inclusion learning certificate so I can be more educated and have a decolonized inclusive classroom that embraces diversity. I am so grateful for this experience in ECS 100 and can not wait to continue my journey to becoming an educator.